Election 2012 has come and gone, and now people can study the results in more depth.
Listed below are the results as they were for Beadle and Kingsbury counties.
Voters rejected Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s plan to give bonuses to top teachers, phase out tenure and recruit candidates for critical teaching jobs. The Legislature approved the Republican governor’s proposal earlier this year, but the state’s main teachers union, the South Dakota Education Association, collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for a public vote as Referred Law 16. Opponents of the Governor’s plan contended it could hurt the quality of education because teachers might stop collaborating to help students as they competed for bonus money. The vote was 67.2 against the “teacher’s scholarship program,” and 32.7 percent in favor of the plan. Voters also rejected Initiated Measure 15, a proposal to raise the state sales tax to provide more money for schools and the Medicaid program that provides health care to low-income people. A teachers union and a health care organization collected signatures to put the proposal on the ballot after Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the Republican-dominated Legislature cut state funding last year for school districts and medical facilities that serve Medicaid patients. The measure would have raised the state sales tax from four percent to five percent and was expected to raise an estimated $180 million a year. Statewide, voters rejected the measure 56.7 percent to 43.3 percent. In Hand County, the vote was 59.7 percent against (1,085 votes) and 43.3 percent for (732 votes).
Andy Wiese, campaign manager for Moving South Dakota Forward, released the following statement regarding Initiated Measure 15 election results:
“The last year has provided us the opportunity to have a discussion directly with the voters on the future of education and health care. Raising awareness of the revenue shortfalls and educating voters about these two programs will benefit all South Dakotans moving forward. It is also important to point out that many of the opponents agreed that our state needs to better fund these two programs. However, we disagreed on the funding mechanism. We look forward to working with them this legislative session to increase funding for our schools and providers. The state continues to face a long-term revenue shortfall and we must work together to fix the problem.”
Referred Law 14, an act to establish the Large Project Development Fund, was rejected, with 57.6 percent against the Governor’s plan to give incentive grants to large construction projects. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill last year at the governor’s urging to provide grants to companies to get them to expand or relocate to South Dakota. The state Democratic party, however, said the estimated $16 million a year in grants would be better used to help fund schools. It gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for a public vote. The grants would have been paid for with 22 percent of the receipts from the contractor’s excise tax.